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Post on 11-Sep-2014
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The History of Superhero movies
The History of Superhero moviesEarly yearsThe first superhero serial "The Adventures of Captain Marvel" emerged in 1941 following the rise of superheroes in comic books, and was a saturday movie serial for children. The serial would play in the local movie theatre and children would go and watch it on the big screen, each episode lasting about 18 to 20 minutes.
Similar serials to this emerged for the next few years such asBatman(1943), Captain America(1944), and Superman(1948).
Later Saturday serials saw a large decline, putting a stop to superhero movies apart from a big screen extension of the Batman television series starring Adam West in 1966, and a few more comedy orientated films with original superheroes such as the French film Mr Freedom(1969).
1978-1990sIn 1978Supermanthe first major superhero feature film was released thanks to a new interest in science fiction brought on by the release of star wars in 1977. The film was extremely successful using the newest special effects and led to 3 sequels ending with Superman IV: The Quest for Peace.
Superman's success led to the creation of many more superhero movies during this period including Robocop(1987),The Punisher(1989),Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles(1990), Batman(1989) and Batman Returns(1992).
All these movie adaptations were of comic book characters who already had fan bases to target, something that changed in 1994 with The Crow became the first independent comics superhero film to establish a franchise. The success of The Crow bridged the gap between superhero movies and the more modern action films of the time with how violent it was, leading the way for the superhero action movies of the 21st century.
The first major success inspired by this new more action orientated superhero was Blade (1998) and its sequels, attracting viewers with its darker themes and violence.
The 2000sThe 2000s had many profitable superhero franchises making an appearance or comeback and multiple superhero movies were released every year from 2000 to 2010. The first two major films of period were X-men(2000) and Spider-Man(2002) which both filmed multiple sequels and achieved major success and helped a new wave of modern superhero films.
Films like Hulk(2003), Hellboy(2004), Fantastic Four(2005) and Iron Man(2008) were released during the 2000s and there were many others with several new superhero movies released every year.
Many superhero movies that had featured in the 80s and 90s had reboots like the batman series which made a massive comeback with the movie Batman Begins(2005). Another unique case in 2006 was the movie superman returns which was a sequel to superman 1st an 2nd but a reboot of the 3rd and 4th movies after there failure in the 80s. These reboots had the benefit of having much more modern filming equipment available compared to when they were first and took a much more action heavy approach.
In this period many non western superhero movies were released and achieved success. Examples include Casshern(2004), a Japanese film adapted from the anime of the same name which made fifth place in the US film charts and stayed in the top ten for five weeks and Ra.One(2011) an Indian science fiction superhero movie that went onto win one National film award, one Filmfare award and four International Indian Film Academy awards.
Animated Animated superhero movies rarely make it to cinema and are usually direct to video as such usually they are not well known apart from a few that achieve popularity such as The Incredibles(2004) and Megamind(2010) both of which came from well known companies. Many good animated superhero movies exist but dont do well at the box office. Like Batman: Mask of the Phantasm which received great reviews and was called the best animated film of 1993 while being ranked 8th best superhero movie by the Times Magazine, but it only just passed its $6 million budget with its various home video releases after limited success.In 2012 the 3 top positions on the box office chart were taken by superhero movies with Avengers at number 1. This trend looks like it will continue as films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Ant man are in development and if the success of other Marvel superhero film is any indicator they will be a great success.The future